Dinner with Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

One of the highlights of my wine year in 2023 was an introduction to Avignonesi and their single-vineyard Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wines. I had the good fortune of meeting Xiaowen DU, Marketing Manager and Assistant Winemaker at Avignonesi, and Master of Wine student in April. We connected via Zoom, she in Montepulciano with Avignonesi’s vineyards over her shoulder and me in my home office, to talk and taste Sangiovese. Xiaowen definitely had the better view.

I came away from that discussion impressed by current owner Virginie Saverys’ dedication to organic and biodynamic certification in the vineyard and wine cellar. She attained full ownership of Avignonesi in 2009 and by 2016 all vineyards were certified organic. Biodynamic certification followed in 2019. 

Virginie Saverys’ commitment to staff and community is equally strong. In 2022 Avignonesi earned B-Corp certification. The company provides English lessons to workers’ children and to children in the nearby community. 

During our discussion we talked about the single-vineyard Sangiovese project that helps the winemaking staff understand each vineyard location and Sangiovese’s expression in each site. We tasted four single-vineyard Sangiovese wines and each had its own charm. I shared what I learned in a blog post a few months later.

In December a special gift from Avignonesi arrived for us — 2013 Avignonesi Vino Nobile de Montepulciano. This 10-year-vintage release celebrates Sangiovese and Nobile’s ageability. The festive label begs for a celebration and celebrate we did with a warming, satisfying dinner pairing. 

Photo of wine bottle and glass of 2013 Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG
2013 Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG

2013 Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCGtranslucent garnet with generous aromas of dark and red cherries, leather and earth. Flavors include dried tart cherries, dried tobacco leaf and alfalfa hay supported by fresh acidity. Tannins are fine and drying in a barely medium body. 14% abv.

Ten years on, this Nobile has retained plenty of fruit with the addition of flavors developed with time in the bottle. It is a delicious combination of flavors that confirms Sangiovese’s ageability. Over the three evenings it took us to finish the bottle, the flavors only became more delicious. 

This Nobile is a blend of Sangiovese (100%) from various vineyard sites, several of which (Le Badelle and La Banditella) I tasted with Xiaowen. The wine aged for 12 months in French barriques, 6 months in Slavonian oak casks and at least 8 years in bottle. 

Photo of 2013 Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano paired with boneless short ribs
2013 Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano paired with boneless short ribs

Avignonesi’s 2013 Nobile was the perfect pairing for boneless short ribs braised in red wine. And our home was filled with the aromas of our meal as it cooked slowly for much of the afternoon. 

Wine can connect us to each other, celebrate an occasion and be a delicious accompaniment to a meal. We, like so many, are drinking less, but we are drinking better. We are choosing lower alcohol wines and they must remain delicious over several evenings. Avignonesi’s 2013 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano ticks all the boxes for us.

Thanks to Avignonesi and Xiaowen for connecting with us over your Nobile.


Leave a Comment for Pull That Cork

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.